There were 592 million slotted phones shipped worldwide in 2007, representing 53 per cent of all mobile phone shipments, according to a survey by Strategy Analytics.
It reports that, with nearly 57 per cent of slotted phone shipments in 2007, the microSD (including microSDHC) slot format is now more popular than the MMC format.
The microSD format is expected to hit peak penetration of 86 per cent in 2011, after which it will face competition from other, new, high capacity systems, such as the Universal Flash Storage (UFS).
Steve Entwistle, vice president of the Strategic Technologies within Strategy Analytics, said penetration of slotted phones was already over 85 per cent in many developed countries.
He was speaking after the publication of the firm’s Removable Memory Card Forecast.
“We are now seeing significant growth in emerging markets where demand for music and camera phones is taking off,” he said.
Stuart Robinson, director of the firm’s Handset Component Technologies service, said demand for high capacity cards to store music, images, video and data will trigger significant growth in the high capacity microSDHC format during 2008 and 2009.
He said strong growth was also expected in embedded memory over the next few years.
“But the benefits of being able to upsize your capacity and transfer your data to a new phone make memory card slots an essential requirement for all mid-to-high end phones,” he said.
An earlier Strategy Analytics report predicted that the average capacity of a removable memory card for the global mobile phone market will grow exponentially over the next five years, at an average 120 per cent per year.
If correct, this would take memory card capacity from 517 megabytes in 2007 to 26 gigabytes in 2012.
The report “Cellphone Memory Card”, also revealed that revenue from sales of removable memory cards for mobile phones will grow from US$4.8 billion in 2007 to almost US$11.3 billion in 2012.